New Jerry Seinfeld-produced comedy already felt too long in its half-an-hour preview
Damon Lindelof, Carlton Cuse and and company tease the upcoming finale at PaleyFest
Latest 'Survivor' bootee has harsh words for Boston Rob, Russell and Parvati
Porn 'Fly Girls' beats The CW's reality version by six weeks
'Parenthood,' Jay Leno, 'Chuck' and 'Lost' are on the agenda for Daniel Fienberg and Alan Sepinwall
'Watchmen' star shares his painful makeup process and motivations on the reboot's set
The season's second evictee says she's not Facebook friends with James Clement
HBO brings comedy to Friday with an animated pair and the return of Bill Maher
We're still six weeks away from the beginning of Passover, but that's where my mind is this morning.
During the Seder, we speak of the Four Sons -- one wise, one wicked, one simple and one who does not know to ask -- as a lens through which to view the possible meanings and interpretations of the observance. The Seder is full of remarkable recountings, but each of the four archetypal sons responds to the remarkable in a different way.
For reasons that probably say strange things about me, I look at HBO's new Friday lineup -- "The Ricky Gervais Show," "The Life and Times of Tim" and "Real Time with Bill Maher" -- and I see HBO attempting to reboot the essence of the Four Sons through Tim, Karl Pilkington and Bill Maher. All three are essentially reactive figures, men to whom things happen, but they respond to the encroachment of the world in very different ways.
Was the first 'Idol' loss in six years a sign of things to come? Or just a winter fluke?
In the British countryside with Sam Worthington and Louis Leterrier for their Greek myth reboot
The spring release date may be similar and to video game obsessed American school children ancient Sparta and mythological Greece may be indistinguishable, but it would be a mistake to confuse Louis Leterrier's updating of "Clash of the Titans" with "300."
It's mid-August and a group of journalists have just taken the short drive from the heart of London to Longcross Studios, but more practically we've taken a drive back in time.
I'm not going to be corny and say that visiting the former tank factory in Surrey county was like hopping in Delorean and journeying to an age where the Gods came came down from Olympus and impregnated semi-willing human women and then used their half-God children as pawns in an epic struggle. I understand that Edith Hamilton wasn't writing about actual history, when she chronicled her stories of minotaurs and winged horses and at least one spectacularly ugly woman with snakes for hair.
No, visiting the Longcross facilities housing the "Clash of the Titans" production was more like going back a decade or two in film history, when directors would work with teams of artisans to build mammoth sets, sculpt fiendish creatures and dress and arm battalions of soldiers, when filmmaking wasn't as easy as positioning your actors in front of a Kermit-colored backdrop and assuming that geniuses with computers will fill in the rest.
On set visits, you never know when you're going to encounter a few flimsy tear-away walls and hastily tossed together rooms that bear little resemblance to natural environments and watch a couple actors read two or three lines of dialogue that will inevitably be cut from the finished film. That happens frequently. But sometimes, you find yourself huddled in the corner of a built-to-scale ancient city -- Argos, in particular -- carefully positioned behind a pillar that gives no indication of hollowness when you rap on it tentatively, ducking out of the way because any minute a mythological creature of some sort is going to come soaring out of the sky, causing the citizens to scatter in clouds of kicked up straw and dust, screaming all the way.
"Guys!" Leterrier shouts into a megaphone, doubtlessly aware that the set is too cavernous for all of the extras to hear him. "Finally, we shoot!"
[More on the visit to the set of "Clash of the Titans," opening on April 2, after the break...]